Wonderland Trail – Day 3 (3 miles) + Pacific Crest Trail – Day 91 (32 miles)
I got up and walked the hour down to the trailhead I used to start the Wonderland Trail less than 48 hours ago. It was an easy walk and I spent the time looking back on the frantic pace and great time I’ve had over the last couple of days; great views, my first rain event in almost 3 months, was bits and battling with an ultra-runner.
I then had a long road walk to get back out to the highway. I was hoping for a hitch, but given it was before 7 am, I had little chance. So many cars were coming in but I only saw two cars leaving the park this early.
I did use this time to catch up on my journals.
Eventually, the people who picked me up were extremely nice. They were going south but took me north to resupply at a tiny little town. They then drove me back to the trail. The road up to the trail turned out to be closed due to a fire. They ended up dropping me off at a ski resort 3 miles north and headed off to see the eclipse.
I was only 1 mile away from the PCT at this point, but the trail was over 3,500ft (1,000m) above me. This climb was hard work!
However, I arrived at the top just in time for the eclipse. I sat down to catch my breath and enjoy this bucket list item. I put on my special glasses and saw the bright outline around the sun come to life. It was not total as I was too far north, but I still had 97% blocked out. This actually had the opposite effect to a total eclipse, with the animals all thinking it was dusk and coming out to play.
Once over, I continued along the ridge. It had some great views of Mt Rainer poking its head above the other mountains.
After a few miles, I crossed over to the other side and was swamped by smoke haze which continued for the rest of the day. I ended up drinking so much water to battle the increased humidity from the haze.
I started to feel very tired as evening drew close. Perhaps the miles I did on the Wonderland was starting to catch up with me? I eat two dinners at a fantastically cold spring and continued on until just a few minutes before it was totally dark.
I found a small campsite in the trees and went straight to bed.